Infertility refers to the inability to conceive even after regular and unprotected sex. The problem of infertility can either be in male or female. The causes can either be due to the women’s trouble with ovulation, or inadequacy of certain sexual hormones both in men and women. In most cases, the problem of infertility is caused due to Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This disorder is caused due to hormonal imbalance, which causes the ovaries to enlarge in size and develop small cysts (a membranous sac or cavity of abnormal character in the body, containing fluid) on the outer edges.
Other common causes of infertility in women– Hormonal factors that impact ovulation, Endometriosis, STIs, other infections, and growths in the reproductive system, unhealthy body weight, other unknown causes.
Causes of infertility in men
Abnormal sperm production or function due to undescended testicles, genetic defects, health problems such as diabetes or infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, mumps or HIV. Enlarged veins in the testes (varicocele) can also affect the quality of sperm.
For all these problems of infertility doctors recommend various treatments based on the cause, and sometimes the recommended treatments may fail and leave you in despair. But never lose hope, there are many other possible treatments that might help you fetch good results. Let us take a look at 5 such alternative methods that can be helpful in treating infertility.
5 Treatments for Male Infertility Problems
Reflexology is the process of applying pressure on specific areas of hands, feet and ears, which are connected to the organs of your body. These reflex points stimulate and restore the flow of energy in the body.
According to reflexology, different areas on your hands and feet are linked to specific parts of your body, such as your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and womb (uterus). For example, areas on the top of each wrist connect to the ovaries and fallopian tubes. A similar area in men is linked to the testicles.
Reflexologists say that by applying pressure on these specific body parts hormonal balance can be maintained which ensures best possible health to become pregnant.
Acupuncture is a traditional chinese therapy in practice since thousands of years. The acupuncture theory is based on the belief that there is a flow of energy in our body called qi (pronounced “chee”), and when this flow of energy is blocked, it shows the area of illness or disease.
There are different types of acupuncture, but most people have treatment using thin, solid metal needles. The acupuncturist puts these into your skin at specific places on your body, which stimulates the flow of energy.
It is believed that acupuncture could affect your hormone levels, and that, in turn, could affect how and when you ovulate. Or, it may increase the amount of blood to your womb (uterus) and ovaries. A blood-rich womb wall can give embryos a better chance of implanting.
There still is no confirmed evidence that can prove whether it is the process of acupuncture or the belief and expectation of the people that works in treating this illness, but studies suggest the placebo effect is what treats
Although hypnotherapy is used for many health conditions, some women who have tried this method believed that it must have played a part in them getting pregnant. Hypnotherapy helps you go into an altered state of consciousness or a trance-like state. Your body is deeply relaxed but your mind is still active.
Some research shows that the deep relaxation element of hypnotherapy can help you to feel less stressed and more in control. This could be helpful when you’re trying to get pregnant, as stress and anxiety may make it more difficult for you to conceive. Stress can affect the part of your brain that controls your hormones.
A small research study done by using hypnosis during embryo transfer when women are having in-vitro fertilization (ivf), shows that having hypnosis may affect how well an embryo implants, making pregnancy more likely. More research is being done in this area, but the results aren’t yet available.
Though yoga does not give you instant results, it may help reduce the stress levels. Most of the health conditions are caused due to sustained stress. Yoga helps you with bringing this stress to an end.
For women, long-term stress can affect ovulation where you may ovulate later in your cycle than you think, or you may not ovulate at all, or it can also make your periods irregular.
For men, stress can affect on how your body produces testosterone and sperm and how sperm grow and develop. Long periods of stress can also cause impotence.
The calming effect of yoga helps to de-stress. It also activates the internal organs, hormones and keeps the body active. It can give you a sense of mental wellbeing, which is important when you are planning to conceive. In one research conducted, it was shown that the women who did regular yoga during their treatment days, it made them feel less anxious. And a calm mind is the first step to any treatment. So why not give yoga a chance to help.
Nutrients that improve fertility
Zinc – studies have shown that zinc plays an important role in fertility. According to one study on men with fertility issues have suggested that by maintaining good levels of zinc can increase the number of sperm in each ejaculation, and improve how the sperm move (motility). Meat, shellfish, dairy foods, bread and cereal are good sources of zinc.
Selenium – there’s some evidence that selenium supplements can improve the semen quality of men with fertility problems. In one study, selenium taken in combination with vitamin e improved sperm movement (motility) and shape (morphology), and resulted in more pregnancies. Brazil nuts, meat, eggs and fish are good sources of selenium.
Vitamin d – vitamin d may be important for helping sperm move well. In one study on infertile men, those who had deficiency of vitamin d had lower sperm motility than those who were getting the recommended amount of vitamin D. Oily fish, egg yolk, liver, and food fortified with vitamin D are good sources of vitamin D.
These are some of the basic alternatives that can be given a try in case of failed infertility treatment. But before trying these methods, taking your physicians suggestion is highly recommended, as not all methods are suitable for everyone.